How To Speed Up Google Indexing
In today’s digital landscape, it’s no secret that Google’s ranking system is one of the most complex to navigate, but the most valuable to any business if they can get it right. One of the challenges businesses face for their new pages is the simple fact that Google doesn’t instantly update their index the moment a new site goes live and so encouraging them to crawl and index your website can speed up the process.
The Value Of An Indexed Page
Without indexing, your website will not appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google’s index is essentially their list of all of the URLs they recognise on the web, all of which have the potential to appear as a search result for relevant queries. Indexing your website is the action of submitting this URL to Google’s index, without which it couldn’t be listed in any position.
For this reason, the value of indexing your page is unrivalled. It’s this starting point that ensures your content has the potential to be seen by your users and acts as the scaffolding on which you can then build up your SEO campaign. You can follow all of SEO’s best practices to rank your website highly, but without that initial indexing, it won’t appear.
How Do I Check If My Page Is Indexed?
With approximately 380 new websites being created every minute, you’d forgive Google for not being able to immediately index every single one of them. However, if you’ve had your website for a while, chances are Google has already spotted it and, providing it’s crawled effectively, indexed it.
According to Neil Patel, one of the easiest ways to check if your site has been indexed is to use the ‘site:yourdomain.com’ search in Google. Google will only search results that include your domain, so you won’t have to sift through a number of different results just to see if you can find yours.
Start With Your Content
When it comes to your content marketing strategy, it’s important to take into account that everything you do can play a part in not only whether Google pays attention in the first place, but also where you will be ranked once your site has been indexed.
It’s no secret that Google and it’s crawlers favour new, regularly updated content. It’s due to this common knowledge that we’re seeing something called Content Shock; this refers to the oversaturation of content on the internet, a large majority of which is poor quality and low relevance. Anything from fake news stories, to irrelevant posts and blogs that are crafted simply for the sake of having content have led Google to be far stricter about what they will rank highly in the SERPs.
As a result, webmasters who can create regular content that is not only high quality but highly relevant to their website or service, are likely to see faster indexing than those who are simply posting for the sake of posting. Blogs are a great way of getting that content on your site; in fact, 33% of B2B businesses are reported to be maintaining regular blogs, and 61% of US consumers will take advice from bloggers when purchasing products.
If you really want to drive Google’s attention to your website, you can further your content marketing strategy with external content, including guest posts on industry-relevant websites and press releases announcing milestones or other notable achievements for your business.
Set Up Social Media And Start Sharing
So, you have your content set up – how do you get it out there? Well, through social media, of course. Through both organic posting and paid advertisements, you can include links to key pieces of content on your website, whether that’s the homepage, a main service page or even a brand-new blog.
By creating these posts, you can encourage sharing amongst your customers, clients and followers which, ultimately, leads to backlinks. These links are a natural way to encourage Google’s bots to go and take a look at your site and, providing it’s deemed a high enough quality, index it within the SERPs.
Of course, there have been mixed reports as to whether Google takes social media into account when ranking your site, but the general consensus seems to be that even if it doesn’t help ranking directly, the attention brought to your social posts, and therefore the links within them, can help you to gain the attention of Google’s crawlers.
Submit Your Sitemap
How do you make sure that Google is aware of all of the pages on your site? Well, the answer to that is simple – with a sitemap. In fact, submitting a fine-tuned, comprehensive sitemap of your website to Google’s Search Console can ensure that Google knows about the URLs, and therefore indexes them. In most cases, a semi-regular update of your sitemap if you’re uploading new blogs or updating your content can help to bring these changes to Google’s attention more swiftly, but in some cases, such as e-commerce websites, information resources or news sites, installing the Google XML Sitemap plugin for WordPress (providing you have a WordPress site).
This plugin would prove beneficial for any site, but for those who want an automated way of submitting sitemaps, this tool gives you the freedom to set your desired frequency that a sitemap should be updated and sent across to your chosen search engine – in this case, Google.
When you submit any sitemap, the URLs are put into ‘pending’ and over the course of the following 1-2 weeks, Google will crawl and index these pages providing they are of the necessary quality.
Index With Other Search Engines
The search engine industry is a competitive one, even with Google taking 92.92% of the market share worldwide. Despite leading the way in the world of search, Google is still hot on other search engines, and so manually submitting your URLs to more than just the search engine giant can be an ideal way to gain attention for your website.
(http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share – sourced: 06/03/19)
There are concerns to be aware of, however – in particular, you need to ensure that you’re only submitting the URLs to trustworthy and reputable search engines. In a similar way to how links from low-quality websites can damage your website’s trust flow, having your website listed on ‘spammy’ directories or search engines can be enough to convince Google that your site is also low-quality and therefore not indexable on their SERPs. If you ensure that you are only submitting your URLs to search engines like Yahoo, Bing or Ask, Google is unlikely to penalise your site in this way and instead rank it within its own index.
Make Google Aware Of The Page
Until recently, one of the simplest ways to encourage Google to fetch and index your website and it’s pages has been to manually submit your URL using the Fetch As Google tool on Search Console. However, with the recent announcement that this particular report would no longer be available after March 2019, webmasters and developers are turning their sights to the new alternative – the URL Inspection Tool.
In everyday use, the tool is designed as a way to check the status of an already indexed site. It can provide insights into technical errors preventing a page from being indexed properly, whether crawl bots can move around the page effectively and more. However, it’s important to note that this will only scan the most recently indexed version of the page – so what if your page isn’t indexed at all?
You can request Google to inspect a URL through this tool and Google will go forth and crawl the website for the first time. While this can take a week or so, it’s one of the simplest ways to make Google aware of any new pages within your website.
Keep On Top Of Any Errors
You can follow every step we’ve mentioned above, but if your site has crawl errors, it’s unlikely to make it to the SERPs until these are fixed. Before submitting any URLs or updating a sitemap, you need to make sure that there are no glaring errors on the page. Regardless of the method chosen for indexing, Google will conduct a live test and if the page fails this, it won’t be indexed until these errors are resolved.
If your site has been crawled previously but failed to make the index, you can utilise Search Console in order to see which errors Google faced throughout the latest crawl. Using this data to fix these errors, and then updating the sitemap or re-submitting URLs can help get these pages indexed quickly. It’s important to keep checking for errors on a regular basis. The slightest change or error can take an indexed site off the ranking completely, so check back on a monthly, if not weekly basis.
While the indexing of your site may not come with simple, numbered instructions, there are a variety of ways that you can encourage Google to take a look at the pages across your website and list them in their SERPs. From submitting your URLs directly either one by one or as a sitemap, to creating a linking profile that offers high-relevancy trust flow through to your site, you can capture Google’s attention and ultimately get indexed faster.
For help with indexing for your website or for more information about any of our services here at Absolute Digital Media, get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 088 6000.